Meet Bear, a dog tasked with taking drugs off the streets

2-1/2-year-old chocolate lab

LANCASTER, Pa. - Local law enforcement authorities have a new tool in their fight against drugs.

Bear is a 2-1/2-year-old chocolate lab that has been sworn in as the newest member of the Lancaster County Drug Task Force, it's first full-time K9 in about 20 years.

"Bringing Bear onto the task force really was a no-brainer," said District Attorney Craig Stedman. "This county, and country, is dealing with a drug epidemic unlike anything I have seen in my 26 years as a prosecutor."

Convincing Bear to commit his paw to the oath sheet required only a bag of chopped hot dogs.

Bear was trained for three months in North Carolina to detect several types of controlled substances, including heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana.

He recently went along for a search that uncovered 180 pounds of marijuana in Landisville, officials said.

Harrisburg Pike Animal Hospital donated services, procedures, and medicine for Bear, but there will be recurring costs, including ongoing training, which will cost about $1,000 annually.

Contributions for Bear's care and costs are being accepted by the DA's office. Donations can be sent to the Lancaster County District Attorney's Office, c/o Joanna Evans, 50 North Duke Street, Lancaster, Pa. 17602.

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